After being banned by Air India for assaulting a staff member, Shiv Sena legislator Ravindra Gaikwad had to reach Delhi on Wednesday via a chartered flight, PTI reported. The flight was provided to Gaikwad by another Shiv Sena MP Rajkumar Dhoot, reported India Today.
The Shiv Sena is expected to raise the issue of the ban in Parliament on April 6 when Gaikwad will be present. “Just because we are in the government does not imply we cannot create ruckus”, Shiv Sena MP Anand Adsul threatened on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has sought details from the Civil Aviation Ministry in connection with the assault episode that took place on March 23. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Tuesday had said she was considering a privilege motion by the Shiv Sena on the ban. Other airlines had also decided to bar the MP in solidarity with Air India. One of his flight tickets was cancelled by IndiGo on March 24.
Last week it was reported that Gaikwad was caught trying to book Air India flight tickets by changing the spelling of his name following the ban. “Ravindra Gaikwad, R Gaikwad, Prof V Ravindra Gaikwad and Prof Ravindra Gaikwad has been banned in our system as he tried booking using different abbreviation,” an unidentified Air India official had earlier told Hindustan Times.
Gaikwad said he had hit an Air India employee 25 times with his sandal because he was flown in the economy class despite booking business class seats for his flight from Pune to Delhi. However, Air India said the plane he had chosen to fly on was economy-only, and that he had refused to take a different flight. Moreover, he had refused to apologise for his behaviour and has so far held that the employee should apologise to him instead. He changed his version of events a number of times after it was first reported.